When I first heard Infiniti was holding an event to teach folks “How to Have the Perfect Date,” I was intrigued. Because honestly, after all the dates I’ve had in my life, I don’t think a “perfect” one exists!
So while we can’t be taught how to pick the perfect person to date, Eric Rogell, author of “The Art of War for Dating,” and founder of The Bachelor Guy, did pass along some great nuggets of information on how to be the perfect date, how to choose a great location, and much more!
Infiniti brought in a fleet of amazing cars including the Infiniti QX56, Infiniti FX, IPL G Coupe,
Infiniti G Convertible, and the Infiniti M Hybrid which we would test drive while driving to locations picked out by Eric as a spot we should consider taking a date.
Before anyone could bat an eyelash, I headed straight for the Infiniti G Convertable which featured[singlepic id=29243 w=320 h=240 float=right] the same shimmering Malbec Black paint as the IPL, and also sporting the red leather interior. What better vehicle was there to cruise the streets of sunny Fort Lauderdale?
The sports leather seats hugged perfectly as I took my position behind the wheel. Pulling away I enjoyed the throaty bellow from the tailpipes pushed by the 325hp, 3.7 V6 that purred under the hood. The 7 speed transmission shifted smoothly through town, but a clear stretch of road allowed me flick through the gears using the race inspired paddle shifters on either side of the wheel. This was quite a machine.
But unlike most convertibles, no sound quality is lost from the powerful Bose speakers due to additional speakers mounted next to the headrests of the driver and passenger seats. This cleverly compensates for the lost audio that is normally contained by a regular ‘closed roof’ automobile. The drop top also seemed to lose no performance despite having 5hp less than the standard G37s coupe and the usual burden of any convertible, which is the extra weight needed to keep the chassis rigid. None of this affected the driving enjoyment of this car. This was going to be tough to beat.
Our first stop was at YOLO restaurant on East Las Olas Blvd. I’d heard of this restaurant before, but never had the pleasure of eating there. Pulling up to the valet stand I couldn’t help shifting in to neutral and giving the throttle a tap or three. There was that ear pleasing bellow again.
My passenger raised one eyebrow at me as if to label me a child… I was having too much fun to care.
YOLO (standing for You Only Live Once) has a very quaint personal feel. They have created an outdoor area enclosed from the nearby street with comfortable looking seating and a fire pit for those slightly cooler evenings. The inside/outside bar gave a glimpse of the restaurant’s subtle & classy interior décor. We were led inside to be greeted by a wonderful combination of aromas.
[singlepic id=29235 w=220 h=140 float=left]On the menu for us today was the Szechuan Calamari, the divine truffled YOLO Chips and their signature meatballs. The twist on the classic calamari alone was enough to bring me back here in my own car. While we enjoyed the nibbles, Eric gave us some tips that would help get us closer to experiencing the “perfect date.”
Back into the sun, I was determined to have the IPL for the 30 mile drive north to Delray Beach. Mission accomplished! So far, no difference to the interior of the standard G37. But trust me, that’s not a bad thing. Why mess with perfection?
I sat impatiently waiting for the cue to pull away, my passenger/navigator looking a little nervous next to me. I must have had a look in my eye. Possibly the look of a man who wanted to let loose all of the 348 wild NISMO performance tuned horses currently trapped under the hood. I had read quotes of an impressive 5.0 second 0-60 time (0.2 seconds faster than it’s better behaved G37s sibling). Not having a free hand for a stopwatch, I can’t confirm this. But I can tell you that the imprint of my back that must have been left in the leather tells me it could well be true. This thing was a monster!
I flicked effortlessly though the gears merging onto interstate 95 and glanced down to see that I had overshot 60mph without even realizing. This thing puts all of its power on the tarmac with such poise that I didn’t even realize how fast I was going. This was definitely a drivers car.
The option of a 6 speed manual transmission would complete the experience for a very serious motorist. But the semi automatic transmission was so slick & responsive that I doubt there would be much additional benefit. I took the curve of the off-ramp onto Atlantic Avenue a little recklessly, but I wanted to test the cornering of this nimble beast. It felt glued to the road. Part of me wishes I had taken the corner a little quicker.
At just over $50k, this model to me was a bargain. It maybe wouldn’t quite outrun a BMW M3, but it would certainly give it a run for it’s money. And saving you over $10k in the process with a higher luxury spec as standard, it’s well worth consideration in this category.
Our second stop drew closer and my eagerness for another plate of delicious food was slightly overshadowed by my urge to put all my belongings in storage and start living in this car. But I climbed out anyway.
Vic & Angelos Italian restaurant is about 3 miles east from the I95 on Atlantic Avenue in Delray [singlepic id=29238 w=320 h=240 float=right]Beach. It had a modern feel but I was told to expect old school Italian fare. Excellent.
We sampled a variety of portions from their signature dishes including a gnocchi that was TO DIE FOR!
After finishing our food and asking someone to roll me out to the next car, I requested a test drive of Inifiniti’s new M35 hybrid. I only requested this because of the part of me that recycles and gives money to Green Peace etc. I was honestly not that excited about driving what I expected to be a fancy looking Prius.
I had driven a version of Infiniti’s M series before. The tamed rocket that is the M56s. So I was expecting to be falling behind all the other drivers in their more powerful machines.
I pulled slowly away then planted my foot in the gas pedal expecting only to experience slow pick-up and the whining of a lifeless battery powered car… Wrong!… I was hurtled forward with incredible acceleration. I was truly not ready for that. So, I quickly deduced that the brains at Infiniti must hate hybrids almost as much as me. I love the idea of a hybrid, but first and foremost, they are all ugly as sin. Secondly, they drive badly (ie. Slowly, with all excitement surgically removed on the production line). Welcome to the revolution in motoring. A beautiful looking, comfortable, luxurious, rocket powered… Hybrid??… Yes… This car checked all boxes.
Although this may be a little out of some people’s price range, at least the target market (ie. Anyone looking for a luxurious executive sedan) is not going to be forced to choose between comfort, performance or economy anymore. With the M35h, they get all three.
[singlepic id=29247 w=320 h=240 float=left]So finally and reluctantly we arrived at our third and last destination. Storks Bakery in Wilton Manors. It is an intimate café with both indoor and outdoor seating. We were presented with an array of delicious looking cakes, desserts and pastries.
Once I had devoured my last piece, it was back outside to my fourth and final ride for the day. This time, I strayed from my usual choice of car and climbed up into the overwhelming QX56 SUV. This was not a vehicle to play chicken with.
You can’t help feeling a little over confident as you sit inside. And safe? It felt like they had made this car from very shiny, comfortable pieces of bomb shelter. I turned to look towards the back seats. This thing just kept on going. It could easily contain a family of 7, plus luggage, as they sat comfortably with their legs stretched out in front of them. And the size should be nothing to deter anyone from buying. It looked big on the outside, it looked even bigger on the inside. But drove as if it was half it’s size. With the new model sporting a chassis built specifically for Infiniti, it was smooth and nimble in the corners, with responsive steering.
With a similar control layout to the M series, the huge array of convenience functions were easy to get to at all times.
Could this change me into an SUV driver? No… Did it tempt me more than any other SUV I’d driven? Most definitely.
After a long day of fun in the sun, delicious food in our bellies, and an Infiniti experience like no other, it was time to head back to the Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale where our journey began. I have to admit, I had never felt more upset about jumping back into my old car.
For more information on Infiniti’s full range of vehicles check out their website here. We also would highly recommend you guys check out our host and guide Eric Rogell’s book, The Art of War for Dating, which you can grab here.